In Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book titled Flow, the master of positive psychology expands on what the term means and how to reach it. The standard English definition of the word portrays a steady supply of a thing or an act. For humans, it usually means when a person is actively engaged in the act, they have no concept of time or their surroundings. It’s a state of productivity unlike any other. Let’s find out how to find your source of focus and happiness.
The Concept Of Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains flow as a state where the activity becomes exceedingly important to the person. They feel absurdly happy at that moment that even if it costs them everything, they will continue to put their whole soul into the activity.
In his Ted Talk in 2004, he compares it to an intense focus that makes for a clear and ecstatic mind. You are in your happy zone where you know exactly what steps you have to take without thinking about it and get the immediate result from it.
According to the psychologist, in a second, a person can take 120 bits of input. When we find a challenging task, our minds start working to the fullest. If what we’re doing also happens to be enjoyable, we achieve the flow state of happiness and zen.
How To Find Your Flow
Once you learn how to find your flow on a day-to-day basis, you will never have to think about actively completing your work again. Instead, it is something you will excel at as a part of your being.
Select A Task To Match Your Skills
First, settle on a task. The activity has to be something that you find challenging enough but simultaneously have enough skills to complete. You can’t choose a task with challenges that are impossible to achieve. This would mean you won’t have enough feedback. Instead of entering your active, happy state, it can cause the opposite.
Goals With Immediate Feedback
The entire concept of flow revolves around feedback. The whole task has to be marked with mini goals and then the ultimate one. As you go through the task and achieve those goals and get the result from it, your mind will get the boost of energy and serotonin required to reach the flow state.
Immersive experience without distractions
To get into the flow state, your attention to the task has to be undivided. Any distractions around you, such as your phone, have to be distanced from you. If you don’t keep your mind to the task for at least 15 minutes, reaching the flow state becomes more and more difficult. Research states that distractions can cause you to take 25 minutes to find the attentive state back.
Monitoring Your Energy
We lose and regain our mental energy at different points of the day. You need to keep this in mind when trying to enter the flow state. You will have better luck working and achieving your flow state when your mental energy is high.
Once you start practicing achieving the flow state daily, the tasks you focus on will become a natural, regular part of your life that you can complete on autopilot. If you enjoy your work and try achieving the flow state for it, you will be unstoppable in your place of work.